A shot of adrenaline, in the form of senior transfer Olivia Yun, powered the Torrey Pines girls golf team to a first place finish in the Avocado West League division of the last week’s North County Conference Tournament and positioned the Falcons as a legitimate challenger for the upcoming CIF Division I Championship.
Yun, who transferred to Torrey Pines this year from Pacific Ridge, has been on the sidelines recovering from a wrist injury. Making her belated 2019 prep debut Oct.14 against San Marcos she was medalist in the team’s final dual match of the season.
That was just a prelude for the NCC Tournament where she fired opening round 73 at St. Marks Golf Club in San Marcos and backed it up with a 71 on day two at Twin Oaks Golf Club. Her 36-hole total of even par 144 gave her a four-stroke advantage over sophomore runner-up Megan Royal of Carlsbad. Royal’s freshman teammate Jasmine Kahler was third at 149.
More importantly, it helped lift Torrey Pines to a 771 team total, six strokes better than second place Carlsbad, a squad that beat the Falcons twice in the regular season en route to the Avocado West championship. Carlsbad had a two-stroke edge over TP through the first 18 holes. Following Yun for Coach Chris Drake’s side were senior Summer Yang (153), freshman Muzi Wei (157) and junior Libby Fleming (158). Canyon Crest, paced by junior Michelle Yi at 151 and sophomore Sofina Firouzi (155), was third. Drake was forward to the future after watching his revamped lineup in action.
“Rancho Bernardo is the two-time defending CIF champion and definitely has to still be considered the favorite, but I’m super-excited about where our team is right now,” said Drake. “It feels like we’ve been saving our best for the end of the season and it’s nice to be closing the gap on some of the other contenders.
“We had so much competition during our regular season Avocado West matches and that has helped put us where we are now. CIF is going to be really fun.”
Yun offset two bogeys and a double bogey by ringing up five birdies while going one under for the NCC’s second 18. Drake was suitably impressed by Yun’s performance.
“Coming off a fairly major injury, I honestly didn’t know what to expect,” Drake admitted. “But Olivia’s a talented player and hit the ground running.” Out since mid-August, Yun’s had minimal time to hone her game. Her timing and putting seem to be coming along despite some lingering tenderness.
“The results show she’s playing pretty well,” continued Drake. “She’s long off the tee, close to 250 yds., so she’s out-driving most of the other girls and that distance really shrinks the course.
“When you combine that with her short game, she’s going to give herself a lot of birdie opportunities. She said she missed five-or-six birdie putts when she shot 71 at Twin Oaks so when she figures out her putting, she’s got a chance to be pretty special.”
The CIF Championships (Division I & II) are slated for Nov. 4 and 6 at Admiral Baker Golf Course in San Diego. Sixteen Division I teams will start out with a play-in round Oct. 20-21. Four three-team and one four-team pool will play 18 holes with the winner from each pool advancing to the team portion of the Championship. The pairings will be announced this week but based on current CIF rankings, the top five D-I schools (in order) would be Rancho Bernardo, Torrey Pines, Scripps Ranch, Carlsbad and Canyon Crest.